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Chamorro phrasebook

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Chamorro, or Chamoru, is the native language of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Although the English language and Japanese language are commonplace on both Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, people still use the Chamorro language. Chamorro is also used on the continental United States by immigrants and some of their descendants.

The numbers of Chamorro speakers have declined in recent years, and the younger generations are less likely to know the language. The influence of English, Spanish, and Japanese have caused the language to become endangered. Various representatives from Guam have unsuccessfully lobbied the United States to take action to promote the language.

A large number of Chamorro words have Spanish etymological roots (e.g. tenda "shop/store" from Spanish tienda), which may lead some to mistakenly conclude that the language is a Spanish Creole: However, Chamorro very much uses its loan words in a Micronesian way (eg: bumobola "playing ball" from bola "ball, play ball" with infix -um- and reduplication of root). However, Chamorro can also be considered a mixed language (Hispano-Austronesian) or a language that resulted of a contact and creolization process in the Mariana Islands. Modern Chamorro grammar has many elements of Spanish origin: articles, numbers, prepositions...

There are approximately 50,000 to 75,000 speakers of Chamorro throughout the Marianas archipelago. It is still common among Chamorro households in the Northern Marianas, but fluency has greatly decreased among Guamanian Chamorros during the years of American rule in favor of (a largely pidginized) American English. Ancient Chamorro is still spoken in the northern islands like Pagan, Saipan, Luta, and Tinian.


Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Chamorro has six distinct vowels. They are: å, a, i, e, u, and o. Note that å isn't usually distinguished in written Chamorro. Therefore you can't tell the difference between båba 'bad' and baba' 'open'.

Å 
like English a in car (IPA /a/)
like English a in cat (IPA /æ/)
like English ee in meet or i in pit.
like English e in met or ee in meet or even i in pit.
like English oo in tool or u in put.
like English o in low or u in put.

All vowels are cardinal, like in Spanish, not like in English. The vowels I and E are similar because I sounds like 'ee' in meet when stressed, or 'i' in pit when unstressed. E sounds like 'e' in met when stressed, 'ee' in meet when unstressed or even 'i' in pit when unstressed. U and O are similar because U sounds like 'oo' in tool when stressed, or 'u' in put when unstressed. O can sound like 'o' in low when stressed, or 'u' in put when unstressed.

Consonants[edit]

Chamorro has B- as in boy Ch- as in caBold textts D- as in de F- as in Feh G- as in Geh H- as in Heh (short e sound) K- as in Keh L- as in Leh M- as in Meh N- as in Neh N- like the 'n' in senora Ng O- as in "oh" P- as in "peh" R- as in reh S- as in seh T- as in teh U- as in oo in soon Y- as in tzeh

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello!. 
Håfa adai! (Hah-fuh-day)
How are you? 
Håfa tatatmanu hao? (Hah-fuh-tah-taht-mah-noo-How?)
Good  
Maolek (M-Ow-Lick) or Very Good : Todu maolek (toe do mau lek)
What is your name? 
Hayi na'an-mu? (Ha-zi-nuh-un-moo?)
My name is John. 
Guahu Si Juan.(Gwah-Hu-C-Wan.) or Si Juan Yu. (See-Wan-dzu.)
Thank you. 
Si Yu'us ma'ase. (C-zu-oohs-Muh-ah-sea)
You're welcome. 
Buen probechu. (Bwen-pro-bet-sue)
Goodbye. 
Adiós. (Ah-Deh-Oss)
Good morning. 
Buenas días. (Bwenas-Dee-as)
Good evening. 
Buenas tatdes. (Bwenas-taht-des)
Good night. 
Buenas noches. (Bwenas-no-tses)
Good night (see you tomorrow
Esta agupa'. (eh-stah-ah-goo-pah)
Can I use the bathroom? 
Kao sina yu usa i kemmon? (kow see nya dzu oosa ee kemoon)

Problems[edit]

Note that the letter Y is pronounced more like 'dz' as it is in some dialects of Castilian Spanish, and that Ch is usually pronounced like 'ts' rather than 'tsh'. Note also that A and Å are not always distinguished in written Chamorro, often being written simply as 'A'; nor are N and Ñ always distinguished. Thus the Guamanian place name spelled Yona is pronounced 'dzo-nya', not 'yo-na' as might be expected.

Numbers[edit]

Current common Chamoru uses only number words of Spanish origin: unu, dos, tres, kuatro, sinko, sais, siette, ocho, nuebi, dies, onse, dose, trese, katotse, kinse, disesisáis...; beinte (benti), trenta, kuarenta, sinkuenta...: sien, dos sientos, tres sientos... kinientos...; mit, dos mit, tres mit...

The Old Chamoru version used different number words based on categories: "Basic numbers" (for date, time, etc), "living things", "inanimate things", and "long objects".

uno
dos
tres
kuattro
singko
sais (but pronounced "sayce"
siette
ocho
nuebi
10 
dies
11 
onse
12 
dosse
13 
tresse
14 
katotse
15 
kinse
16 
diesisais
17 
diesisiette
18 
diesiocho
19 
diesinuebi
20 
bente
30 
trenta
40 
kuarenta
50 
singkuenta
60 
sisenta
70 
sitenta
80 
ochenta
90 
nubenta
100 
siento
500 
kinentos
1,000 
mit
1,000,000 
miyon

Time[edit]

Clock time[edit]

ora

Duration[edit]

Days[edit]

Sunday 
damenggo
Monday 
lunes
Tuesday 
mattes
Wednesday 
metkoles
Thursday 
huebes
Friday 
betnes
Saturday 
sabalu

Months[edit]

Inero- January Ferbrero- February Matsu- March Abrit- April Mayu- May Junio- June Julio- July Agosto- August Septembre- September Oktubre- October Nubembre- Novemeber Dicembre- December

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

agaga' - red
kulot kahet - orange
amariyu - yellow
betde - green
asut - blue
lila - purple
kulot di rosa - pink
kulot chukulati - brown
apaka - white
attelong - black

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

Car - Kåretå

Directions[edit]

kattan - North
luchan - South
Lagu - West
haya - East

Taxi[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

Salape - Money

Eating[edit]

MEATS

  • guihan - fish
  • uhang - shrimp
  • pånglao - crab
  • ayuyu (pronounced ah-zoo-zoo) - coconut crab
  • asuli - eel
  • påhgang - clam
  • tapon - baby clam
  • do'gas - sea shell
  • mahongang - lobster
  • kunehu - rabbit
  • chåda' - egg
  • påbu - turkey
  • kåtne - beef
  • månnok - chicken
  • katnen babui - pork
  • fritådan babui - pork chitterling
  • fritådan guaka - beef chitterling
  • fritådan månnok - chicken chitterling
  • chachalon - pork rind

STARCHES

  • kamuti - sweet potatoes
  • mendeoka - tapioca
  • suni - taro
  • lemmai - breadfruit
  • nika - sweet yam
  • batåtas - potatoes
  • hineksa' - rice (cooked)
  • pån - bread
  • titiyas mai'es - corn tortilla
  • titiyas arina - four tortilla
  • pugas - uncooked rice

OTHER INGREDIENTS

  • donne' - pepper
  • donne' pika - hot pepper
  • plimenta - black pepper
  • mantika - lard
  • friholes - beans
  • asiga - salt
  • asukat - sugar
  • mantekiya - butter
  • yam - jam, jelly
  • miet - honey
  • mantekiyan kakaguates - peanut butter
  • kesu - cheese

FRUITS

  • laguana - soursop
  • åtes - sweetsop or sugar apple
  • chandia - watermelon
  • melon - melon
  • bilembines - star apple
  • lalanghita - tangerine
  • kåhet - orange
  • aga' - banana
  • ubas - grape
  • papåya - papaya
  • åbas - guava
  • mångga - mango
  • chotda - green bananas
  • ibba' - sour grapes
  • anonas - custard apple
  • piña - pineapple
  • aga' - banana
  • granåda - pomegranate
  • kikamas - sweet turnip
  • makupa - mountain apple
  • tupu - sugar cane
  • alageta - avocado
  • mansåna - apple
  • månha - young coconut
  • niyok - coconut
  • kåhet må'gas - grapefruit

VEGETABLES

  • tumåtes - tomato
  • nappa' - chinese cabbage
  • ilotes - corn on the cob
  • mai'es - corn
  • puntan calamasa - pumpkin tips
  • kundot - squash
  • friholes - beans
  • siboyas - onion
  • biringenas - eggplant


BEVERAGES

  • hånom - water
  • leche - milk
  • kafe - coffee
  • binu - wine

SNACKS & DESSERTS

  • chukulåti - chocolate
  • kande - candy
  • krakas - crackers
  • inafliton batåtas - potato chips
  • kakaguates - peanuts
  • empanåda - spiced corn turnover
  • kek chamorro - Chamorro cake
  • brohas - sponge cake
  • apigige' - grilled young coconut w/starch
  • kalamai - corn pudding
  • påstet - baked turnover
  • buchibuchi - fried turnover
  • buñelos aga' - banana doughnut
  • buñelos dagu - Yam doughnut

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Driving[edit]

Paseo - Stroll, cruise

Authority[edit]

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